British Kabaddi League 2022: Birmingham Bulls beat Glasgow Unicorns to become inaugural champions
Birmingham Bulls defeated Glasgow Unicorns 48-18 to be crowned the champions of the British Kabaddi League (BKL) 2022, the inaugural edition of the event.
A tournament that is inspired by India’s Pro Kabaddi League, the British Kabaddi League started on April 8 and was contested between eight teams.
The final match between Birmingham Bulls and Glasgow Unicorns proved to be a one-sided affair. But that was mostly down to the fact that the Unicorns had taken the mat on the same day to play London Lions in a closely fought (33-31) semi-final.
The Bulls dominated the match from the start. England captain Someshwar Kalia and Felix Li controlled the defence for the Bulls while Vinay Gupta took care of the raiding department.
The Bulls, who had previously defeated Wolverhampton Wolfpack 42-41 in a playoff contest, used George Wellington successfully for almost every do-or-die raid in the final.
"I'm so delighted," said Amo Singh, co-owner of Birmingham Bulls. "We worked so hard to get past Manchester in the semis and I'm really pleased the players kept the momentum going in the final against Glasgow.
"We'll be even stronger next year when it comes to defending our title. It's been a brilliant tournament."
Meanwhile, Manchester Raiders, who remained undefeated until the knockout stages, and London Lions, who finished second in the league phase, played a stunning third-place playoff encounter. Manchester won 52-51.
Birmingham Bulls, on the other hand, had finished fourth in the league stage while Glasgow Unicorns were third.
"We're getting calls from Australia, India, all over the world, asking if we are releasing more teams for next year," said BKL’s chief executive Prem Singh about the competition.
"We wanted to use the sport for community engagement and to celebrate the diversity of South Asian sporting culture.
"Now it's developing a momentum of its own and we've been humbled by the response," he added.
British Kabaddi League 2022 results and scores
Semi-final 1: Manchester Raiders 33-44 Birmingham Bulls
Semi-final 2: Glasgow Unicorns 33-31 London Lions
Third-place playoff: Manchester Raiders 52-51 London Lions
British Kabaddi League Final: Birmingham Bulls 48-18 Glasgow Unicorns
Featured photo: Twitter / British Kabaddi